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  • Nation’s Capital Starts Taxing Yoga

    D.C. yoga studios are fighting a new fitness tax that takes effect in the District Wednesday by arguing yoga is not exercise.

    Yoga, fitness and health advocates formed a #Donttaxwellness Coalition earlier this year to protest the 5.75 percent sales tax, which applies to to fitness clubs, centers or gyms used for the purpose of “physical exercise,” reported The Washington Post.

    Now that the tax is taking effect, the same advocates are trying to argue the tax doesn’t apply to them. Yoga’s not about exercise, Richard Karpel, president of the Yoga Alliance, explained to the Post. “It’s the union of mind, body and spirit.” (RELATED: 57 Reasons To Start Doing Yoga)

    New York tax officials ruled in 2012 it cannot be classified as “true exercise.”

    But that argument hasn’t persuaded D.C. officials. “Yoga is included in [the tax],” David Umansky, public affairs officer at the Office of the Chief Financial Officer, told The Washington Post. “Are they charging for what they do? Then it’s taxable.”

    Aaron Moore, director of operations for VIDA Fitness, told the DCist the unhealthy people who could really use a gym membership will likely see this tax as one more reason not to “get active.”

    The tax also applies to bottled water delivery service, bowling alleys, car washes, and carpet cleaning services.

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